Mantra #2: Do the Right Thing

Mantra #2: Do the Right Thing

So you all know our first mantra now: Go, Do. It inspires us to think and dream without limits. It inspires us to always choose action over excuses.

Our second mantra started out as a joke, but is now one of the most uttered phrases in our household.

Do The Right Thing

Do the Right Thing was a mantra that started when Mike was having a phone conversation that I overheard. Apparently, the person on the other end of the line had made some promises, but the process to deliver on them was complicated and inconvenient. Mike, frustrated and at his wit’s end, said, “Well, I think we should do the right thing here” to try to cajole the other party into delivering on his promises.

Instantly, it was a new catch-phrase in our house.

Do The Right Thing is very much like Dumbledore telling Harry that what is right is not always what is easy. Anytime we have a moral conundrum on our hands, we remind each other to Do The Right Thing. If we have to choose between a long-term and short-term solution, we push to Do The Right Thing (meaning long-term, in almost all cases).

Do The Right Thing can be silly or serious. Oftentimes, it involves whispering “do the right thing, do the right thing, do the right thing” to each other if we are tempted to take the easy route (i.e. when I don’t want to get on the treadmill). Sometimes it involves a serious discussion about our financial goals and realities. Sometimes it just involves doing the dishes.

Do The Right Thing has also been easier for us as it has become more deeply ingrained into who we are. We have come to take a lot more pride in Doing The Right Thing on a consistent basis. We want to be people who are trusted and counted on, and reminders to Do The Right Thing helps us steer ourselves in that direction.

Should I respond to this completely unhelpful, idiotic person through email with the terse, hostile response that is oh-so-tempting? Do The Right Thing. Should we eat leftovers or go to McDonald’s? Do The Right Thing. Should I really purchase another pair of jeans or another shirt for myself or should I put my money toward something more productive? Do The Right Thing.

Keeping ourselves in check like this can seem silly and cheesy sometimes, but I have noticed that it has become very natural for me as I make personal decisions. It makes it easier to resolve issues with my husband if we disagree. It makes it easier to do most things in life when I am committed to Doing the Right Thing because it makes my choices more obvious. It doesn’t always mean that I don’t get stressed or frustrated, but being committed to Do The Right Thing makes me proud of my accomplishments.

Doing the Right Thing means that Mike and I are almost always on the same page with each other, and we are committed to helping the other person get through the temptation of whatever the wrong thing is that they are faced with. This could mean anything from stopping Mike from eating that whole bag of chocolate chips, to him telling me that I should Do the Right Thing and change my attitude when I’m overly grumpy and committed to being in a bad mood.

Do the Right Thing isn’t always easy and it isn’t even always rewarding (“nice guys finish last,” anyone?). Do the Right Thing is personally satisfying though and is leading us to become stronger and more ethical people. Of course, Doing the Right Thing is many people’s aspiration in their lives, but we like to keep it very front-of-mind, that way it is more who we are, rather than what we wish.

Do you have a similar mantra for yourself? I’d love to know your mantras if you have them!

  • I love this so much! I don’t have any personal mantras but these posts are making me want to get one! 🙂 


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